Z for Zachariah

Ann Burden has lived in a secluded valley her whole life. Farming, setting up a hidden camp in a cave behind her house, looking after the cows and chickens, cooking, getting groceries, cooking, playing the piano and, best of all, reading. She is a thoughtful, realistic and hopeful sixteen-year-old girl. And she is, perhaps, the last person on Earth.

In this book, written in the first person diary style by Robert C. O’Brien, everyone was wiped out by nuclear holocaust. Ann’s family left their secluded and toxin-free valley to see if there were others left alive, but they never came back. Ann is alone. Until one day a man shows up. John Loomis is a scientist with a suit that allows him to travel through radioactive areas unharmed. Unfortunately, he is not entirely sane.

I found this book to be overly descriptive, almost to the point of boring. It’s plot and premise, while interesting, was not scientific and the action was not compelling enough as the pacing was too slow. It could be a good bonus project for a physic class or as part of a nuclear science home-school unit. I would link it with After the Bomb. It is appropriate for those with 7th-9th grade reading levels.

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